Local OJ Sales Surge

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 - 10:28am

Florida growers say recent foreign fungicide scare has been good for their bottom line.

After a fungicide that is banned in the US showed up in oranges imported from Brazil, Florida orange growers say the chemical scare is changing the way people buy juice - and it's boosting their profits.

"They ask, ‘Are the oranges from this orange juice grown here? Are they coming from Brazil? Where did they come from?'" said Michelle McCauley.

Luckily for their customers, the answer is simple.

"Our juice is made from the oranges we grow here in Naples," said McCauley.

The McCaleys own Temple Citrus Grove.

They grow their fruit in an orange grove out back, clean them and juice them.

And It's the same thing citrus growers are doing across town at South Naples Citrus Grove.

"It's fresh squeezed, not processed. So you're getting it straight off the tree, straight into the bottle," said Bobby Smits.

Its a technique both growers have used for years, but with the recent discovery of tainted oranges from Brazil, it's starting to pay off.

"I think we have had an uptick in orange juice because people are very concerned about what they're consuming," said McCauley.

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